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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My car, a 95 Sable with about 130k, has really bad ride quality. I live in Baltimore with some of the worst roads in America -- massive potholes, rippled pavement, asphalt splotches and uneven plates everywhere -- and my Sable hits those bumps like a box of bricks. Compared to every other car I ride in around here, my car rides terribly. I feel like jolts are getting transferred right to the frame: each bump is noisy and jarring, a sharp hit felt right through my shoes and my seat. I can hear the change flying around in the tray and I get tossed around, sometimes so bad I halfway lose my grip on the wheel.

The car also suffers from noticeable shakes when it tops 55 mph. I'll get strong vibrations in the wheel and there's a lot of play in the steering, the passenger seat and dashboard will start rattling or vibrating so hard I can both see and hear it, and cups in the cupholder will have they liquid vibrated out of them even through the tiny hole in their lids.

My question: what is broken on my car? Is it the shocks? The suspension? Both? Something else? Help me, please!
 

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You need new shocks, probably new springs. You also seem to need a wheel balancing (shaking at 55+).

Poor tires can also cause harsh riding as well.
 

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Just get Monroe Quickstruts. They come with mounts, struts and coils preassembled. You will need an alignment.
 

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Around 100,000 miles, the struts (Monroe Quik Struts), lower ball joints (Moog), wheel bearings (Timken), outer tie-rod ends (Moog), and sway bar end links (Moog) need to be replaced. In the long-run, it's easiest to do all of it at once.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Around 100,000 miles, the struts (Monroe Quik Struts), lower ball joints (Moog), wheel bearings (Timken), outer tie-rod ends (Moog), and sway bar links (Moog) need to be replaced. In the long-run, it's easiest to do all of it at once.
Hmmm, that sounds like a bit more work. I would call myself handy but I've never attempted a part replacement like that. If it's just a matter of a jack, some wrenches, and time I bet I could do it. But if there's more involved -- if the job was a bit above the novice level -- should I take it in to my mechanic?
 

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You should probably take it to your mechanic. It requires a number of specialized tools; e.g., ball joint separator; two-jaw puller; large snap ring pliers; air hammer, with a 1-inch hammer tip; and C-press. Still, it will save you money, in the long-run, by getting it all done at once. It boils down to safety, how long you plan to keep the car, and your budget.
 
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